Summarized by Kent Larsen
A temple to call their own
Edmonton Alberta Canada Sun 28Nov99 D1
By David Quigley: Edmonton Sun
EDMONTON, ALBERTA -- The public open house of the new Edmonton Temple
will start next month, and local members are excited to show their
neighbors the importance of a Temple. "Temples are a different type
of building,'' says local leader Blair Bennett. "Temples are referred
to as the House of the Lord, the most sacred building we as church
The new 945-square meter (9,500 square foot) temple relieves members
in Edmonton of a 5 1/2 hour drive south to Cardston, where the
closest temple is, until now. "For the majority, they'll make the
sacrifices to come to a temple,'' says Bennett. It serves a district
including 12,500 members in the Edmonton area, as well as another
3,500 members in Red Deer and Grand Prairie.
The LDS Church entered Edmonton with the family of Robert and Fannie
Gordon, who came to the city from Utah in 1914. Several other Mormon
families moved into or out of the are over the next two decades. In
1933 the first Church meetings where held in Edmonton in the home of
Alfred and Mable Strate. A meetinghouse was dedicated in 1951.
Like all LDS Temples, the estimated $5 million cost of the Edmonton
temple is paid for. "All of our buildings are paid for before we
start construction,'' says Bennett, who is a dentist in Edmonton. Leo
Udy of Idaho served as project manager, "I'm an engineer by
profession, a manager of people by training and experience and a
cowboy at heart,'' says Udy, who managed the project as a missionary
for the Church.
Local officials expect thousands of Edmontonians for the open house,
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,'' says Bennett. "It can't
help but enhance the image of our church.''
The building has some aspects that are unique to it, according to
project architect Robert Bennett, who is no relation to local leader
Blair Bennett. "We had to work within a compact area,'' he says
referring to the former parking lot beside an existing chapel. "I
believe that we've been successful in landscaping it so that it will
have the proper atmosphere.''
The building's exterior walls are made of laminated veneer lumber
with stone shrouding, "It's a very sturdy technology in terms of
structural capacity and also very true in terms of the straightness
of the product,'' according to Bennett. "That's important when we're
using a material such as stone, which tends to be a fairly precise
cladding material.'' The shrouding includes two types of granite from
separate Quebec quarries and the building includes marble tiles from
The Temple is also much more sound that most buildings in Edmonton,
"It was requirement of the client that we design this building
structurally for two earthquake-zone categories above the category
which we normally design in Edmonton. Our client required us to
design for category two - Edmonton is category zero.'' The buiding's
pilings are set more than 12 meters (40 feet) below ground. "It's
very well-founded and very sound structurally,'' says Bennett of the
temple, the first he's ever worked on.
The building also features a number of complex finishing details and
mechanical systems. "The standard of workmanship that the client
expects is very high, relative to what we normally encounter on
commercial projects,'' says Bennett, of Bennett Architect Inc. "It's
the first building that our firm has ever done in granite. For an
architect it's been an interesting building to work on.''